With the Chicago Bulls
watching the postseason play out from home once again, there’s an increased pressure for the team to make big moves this offseason. They did so at the trade deadline, acquiring All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic. With both he and Zach LaVine in house, Chicago’s presented with a window to compete now. But in order to do so, they’ll have to get active this offseason in building the proper roster around them. One name that’s been mentioned multiple times now, is Dallas Mavericks’ big man Kristaps Porzingis. And as of Wednesday morning, the Chicago Bulls are among the betting favorites to land the fifth-year center. The latest Bulls news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bulls newsletter here ! Join Heavy on Bulls!
Porzingis to Chicago?
After their Game Seven elimination loss to the LA Clippers, speculation is mounting that the Dallas Mavericks may aim to do something drastic this offseason as they continue building around Luka Doncic. He’s made the playoffs two years now, and both years they’ve been eliminated by the Clippers in the first round. And Kristaps Porzingis seems the obvious man out, as he’s under contract for $65.4 million over the next two seasons with a $34-million player option in 2023. His continued absences due to an inability to remain healthy have plagued his entire career, not just in Dallas. Expect the Mavericks to explore trade routes for the 25-year old, as they look to give themselves maximum roster flexibility moving forward. If they do, and they do it this offseason, BetOnline has provided betting odds for his next stop: Celtics +200, Warriors +225, Thunder +300, Magic +400, Wizards +500, and the Chicago Bulls clock in at +600. Expect them to be continually tied to big names potentially headed for the trade market this summer.
A Chicago-Dallas Deal is Unlikely
Of all six teams listed on BetOnline’s latest odds for a Kristaps Porzingis destination, the Chicago Bulls were listed last at sixth, and for good reason. After acquiring Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline, the center position in the Windy City isn’t up for grabs. The two-time All-Star is under contract through 2024 with all $46-million of his salary guaranteed. And even though his initial stint with the team wasn’t necessarily incredibly successful, playing Porzingis next to Vucevic in the frontcourt just isn’t viable. The two big men provide a lot of the same skills on both ends of the floor, and it’s hard to get by on defense with your power forward standing at six-foot-eleven and your center at seven-foot-three. Vucevic is arguably a better player on offense too, though he can’t provide the same consistency from three. But he has been marginally more reliable as far as his availability, which is often dubbed as ‘the best ability.’ As yet another old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ With the Chicago Bulls’ center rotation far from their biggest issue, don’t look for them to take an interest in a deal for Kristaps Porzingis.